Obama, Biden, Clinton targeted by cyber hackers

A number of high profile politicians and celebrities – including first lady Michelle Obama and vice president Joe Biden – have had their personal data leaked by cybercriminals.

The story first broke earlier this week when media discovered a website featuring the private details of those affected, including credit reports, phone numbers and social security numbers.

Other notable figures profiled on the website include Beyonce, Britney Spears, FBI director Robert Mueller, US attorney general Eric Holder, Mel Gibson, Donald Trump, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore and Hulk Hogan.

The Los Angeles Police Department has released a statement regarding the incident, and has confirmed that LAPD chief Charlie Beck was one of those individuals who were targeted.

"Apparently this is not necessarily a hacking incident. It is called 'doxxing.' This has happened to the Chief on two other occasions prior to this in a similar nature post Occupy LA," reads the statement, as reported by The Huffington Post.

'Doxxing' is a form of social engineering in which a malicious party uncovers personal information about an individual through either legal or illegal means, and then leaks that information online.

This incident highlights how easily determined cybercriminals can access personal information about an individual, and business leaders should take note of the potential risk that social engineering poses to their organisation.

Hackers targeting an enterprise often use social engineering in order to bypass access restrictions and enter secure online databases and servers.

The best way to maximise vulnerability management and combat the threat of social engineering is through a comprehensive Red Cell ethical hacking evaluation.

"We are not at liberty to discuss the others mentioned in the web post. There will be no further comments or press conference on this matter," continues the LAPD statement.

The Secret Service and the FBI are also reportedly investigating the incident.

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